World accommodating new religious movements nrms
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These audience cults sometimes develop into client cults in which followers enter into a more regular and cultural-like movemets with their spiritual leaders, signing up for sessions of counselling, meditations, communication with the dead, and other exotic undertakings. Cults of this kind — for example, est, Scientology, and New Age Groups — require a higher level religiois organization. But the clients are not welded to a social movement. They maintain independent lives, which may involve ties to other religious organisations. By contrast cult movements are full-fledged religious organizations, seeking to meet all the religious needs of their members, sever their ties with competing groups, and change the world by converting others.
Examples are Krishna Consciousness and Soka Gakkai. They divide groups into dualistic movejents, which promote an absolute dichotomy of good accommodaitng evil forces in the world, and monistic movements, which teach the ultimate unity of all things and moral relativism. This distinction is then correlated with a distinction between unilevel and multilevel religions. Unilevel groups ngms to be literalistic in their approach World accommodating new religious movements nrms language and texts. Multilevel groups display a higher appreciation of the symbolic and metaphorical aspects of language and regard spiritual teachings as encompassing various levels of meaning.
Important features of NRMs Typologies are introduced here to call attention to some of the features of NRMs, or cults, tend to have the following features: One is the case of the groups that have come into existence in the last hundred years or so, either as accommodaating of other groups or as entirely new creations — examples would be Asian World accommodating new religious movements nrms like Soka Gakkai or Falun Gong, independent African churches and various forms of neo-paganism in acfommodating Europe. The other is of religious groups whose nw are not entirely clear but that have become more prominent since the late twentieth century — a good example deligious would be Afro-Caribbean religious like Vodun voodoo or Santeria, which overlay a veneer of Christianity on deeper underlying tribal beliefs.
Among traditional world religions, most appear to be in a stable state, Roman Catholicism has been mostly stable, with a single decline in the mids, while Eastern Orthodoxy has experienced a mild increase, as has Protestantism. The greatest growth among the world religions, however, has been in Islam. Among Christians, there is evidence to suggest that what growth has occurred on its right wing, among fundamentalists and evangelicals. This, taken with the growth of Hinduism and Islam, strongly implies that the world is becoming more conservative from a religious perspective. Significant religious growth has also been seen among new religions, especially in Asia and Africa. Even when the new faiths have small number of adherents, they are worth considering in indicators of how people organise religiously in the contemporary world.
One of the most interesting phenomena in the European context is a reconfiguration of ancient religions. This is in groups that might be termed neo-pagan. These share common factors such as duotheistic or polytheistic belief, celebration of four main seasonal days of the year, conducting of ritual outdoors, concern for the environment and nature, and the absence of hierarchy. Probably the largest of these is Wicca, a collection of autonomous covens with worship centred on the goddess and her consort, the horned god, represented by the high priestess and the high priest of coven.
One estimate places the number of Wiccans in the United States at about , making it the fifth-largest organised religion there, and at aboutin the United Kingdom. In the Nordic and Germanic countries, particular elements of ancient pagan tradition have been revived and embellished. In at least one country, Iceland, the Germanic paganist revival has been sufficient enough for it to be recognised in as an official state religion along with Christianity. East Asia especially has been fertile ground for new religious movements. Most of these are blends of Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist thought, together with some uniquely modern elements.
A number of these groups have managed to attract large numbers of adherents over a relatively short time span. The basic doctrine of these is that the deity is a cosmic mother who has given birth to the universe and humanity and now grieves that her children have lost their way. Now in the last era of the world, which will come to a catastrophic end, the mother has intensified her efforts to bring her children back. Both of these were founded at the beginning of the twentieth century. Perhaps the most well-known new religion in China is Falun Gong. Indeed, there is some question whether it is a religion at all, or rather a set of mental and physical disciplines.
Falun Gong incorporates principles drawn from Buddhism and Taoism, and combines these with exercise and body cultivation. Falun Gong has been severely persecuted by the authorities, who are well aware of the history of religions movements destabilising civil government in China. In spite of this, it has grown rapidly and, at the end of the twentieth century, claimed to have 70 million members in China and another million in the rest of the world. Japan also has been the seedbed of numerous such movements. By the mids, it had gained between and thousand members. Rissho Kosei Kai, a Buddhist offshoot that emerged inwas said to have nearly 5 million members by the early s.
Arguably the most successful of the Japanese groups is Soka Gakkai. Originally formed inSoka Gakkai believes that humans can change themselves and, in changing, transform the surrounding world.
All these tags verse the search for high. Chuck they are likely as: Sufficiently, then, NRMs contend new technologies in much the same way as supply workers.
This is accomplished by the Worod the title of the Lotus Sutra, which results in an elevated mental and spiritual state. The organization claimed in to have over 16 relihious adherents but accurate estimates of present active membership place it at between 4 and 5 million. Vietnam too, has been host to a number of new religious movements. Hao Hao was founded in by Huynh Phu So and is based on what a founder saw as a recovery of pure Buddhism mixed with elements of Confucianism and Taoism. Among other things, it emphasises home worship over the use of temples and pagodas. Having suffered repression under the French, the Vietnamese Diem regime and the communists, Hao Hao has nonetheless continued to grow.
With some 2 million members, it is considered one of the five most important religions in Vietnam. Even more prominent, however, is Movemenhs Dai, a monotheistic religion that seeks to establish a basis for the unity of major world religions. For Cao Dai, all religions Wprld one and simply have different names. Its hierarchy is based on that of the Catholic Church, with a pope, cardinals, nrjs and 6 archbishops. Established in by a native Vietnamese administrator working for the French, the movement has been staunchly anti-communist, a stance which has subjected it to persecution. However, it continues to grow and is estimated to have 7 to 8 million members in Vietnam, with another 30, in the United States, Europe and Australia.
After Buddhism and Catholicism, it is the largest religious body in Vietnam. Of those new religions that come from Asian roots, none has attracted more attention than the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification nwe World Christianity, also known as the Unification Church of Moonies, founded by Rev. Sun Myuang Moon in Korea neew Moon began his religious career as a Presbyterian but was excommunicated in While Unification Church beliefs are recognisably rooted in Christianity, numerous elements in its theology differ radically from those enw traditional Christianity. Among these an affair between Eve and the archangel Lucifer; a spiritual rather than physical resurrection of Jesus; and the eventual arrival of the third Adam, who will complete the task left undone by Jesus of repairing the harm caused by Adam and Eve.
While it is difficult to know total Unification Church membership, given inflated religiois by movemejts friends and enemies, it is likely in the hundreds of thousands worldwide. Africa has also been fertile ground for the spawning of new religious movements. Some of these have been powerful not only in Accommodahing but also the Caribbean and South America, where many have African roots. Vodun popularly called voodoo can trace its roots to prehistoric nfms in West Africa. Its chief and looser gods are derived from Yoruba tradition, while many of mpvements hundreds of minor spirits come from other African traditions or the New World. Since both Catholicism and Vodun believe in a supreme being, an afterlife, and have a kind of ritual sacrifice, it was natural that elements of both religions would be combined, especially in the colonial world.
The Loa, or Vodun spirits, resemble Catholic saints as intercessors and protectors, and frequently, in Latin America, bear the names of specific saints. In the United States alone, estimates range fromto several million practitioners. These tend to be offshoots of historic churches, frequently have a preoccupation with the spirit, and seek to adapt traditional Western Christianity to indigenous beliefs and forms of worship. Many of these might also be called prophetic movements, since they are built on a strong leader, a prophet. The following examples are illustrative. One of the Christ Apostolic Church, began ingrew rapidly and subsequently spread into Ghana. Another emerged in as a result of the activities of a charismatic leader and a young woman who had fallen into a trance during which she felt called to create a new church.
The cherubim and Seraphim Society, this new group, broke from Anglicanism in Eventually, branches were established in London and New York. The Legio Maria movement developed out of Catholic lay spirituality group brought to Kenya by the s. It developed its own theology emphasising the central role of Mary in Christian faith, and beliefs in the interaction between the world of spirits and human beings that differed from those of Catholicism. Having initially rejected that they saw as an over-emphasis on ordained clergy, this lay movement eventually developed its own hierarchy of a pope, cardinals, bishops and priests.
Aladura alone is estimated to have 1. One reason for their success has been their continued effort to create religious settings rooted in African tribal culture and in which individuals can feel comfortable. The coercive conversion controversy Much of the research on NRMs has focused on the process of affiliation, recruitment, and conversion. This is because public authorities have been preoccupied with the accusation of brainwashing made by the opponents of various NRMs. This accusations originated in the legal need to overcome the guarantee of freedom of religious expression accorded Americans by the First Amendment to the constitution of the United States.
Invoking the laws of conservatorship on the books in such states as California, Parents argued that their adult children should be returned temporarily to their custody because they were no longer competent to handle their own affairs, so fully brainwashed had they become. By the mid of late s, however, the courts were becoming unsympathetic to this line of reasoning, as more reliable sociological and psychological studies of NRMs began to question the scientific credibility of brainwashing thesis and as judges began to fear that even more conventional forms of religious expression were being placed in jeopardy.
Today most experts reject the plausibility of brainwashing as a process and therefore reject its practice in NRMs. Discussions of NRMs often focus on the tensions that exist between them and wider society. This is because of the controversy some NRMs aroused in mainstream society. On the one hand, this controversy has been caused by accusations of practices deemed unsuitable for a religion to undertake in secular society. On the other hand, controversy has raged over NRMs that have seen the mass deaths of their members. These controversies have led to the establishment of institutions that monitor NRMS, often involving sociologists of religion.
Some groups provide information on NRMs to any interested party. By contrast, other groups have seized NRM members they believe have been brainwashed, in order to de-program them. It is worthy of mention that neither NRMs nor mainstream society are homogeneous and so these tensions are partial, not absolute. In addition, studies of NRMs revealed a social profile for those who joined NRMs that was at odds with the stereotypes promoted by anti-cult movement. In the process, significant advances were made in understanding the nature of religious conversions.
It is increasingly apparent that the process of conversion can be explained using conventional ideas from social psychology, such as deconditioning and resocialization, and that contrary to the implications of brainwashing, people are not so much converted to a religious world view as convert themselves. Conversions are the results of the active participation converts in the negotiation of a new identity.
Movements new World nrms religious accommodating
The brainwashing scenario turns out to be a pseudo-scientific ideological device with dehumanizing implications for converts to NRMs. Contrary to claims for pervasive brainwashing, it is now clear that cults suffer from Wogld low rates of recruitment and high rates of defection. Certainly there is no evidence that persons have ever been held physically against their will—a prerequisite for all of the classical theories of brainwashing. Finally, though the results of numerous psychological studies are somewhat inconclusive, none of the members and ex-members of NRMs tested accommodaating scores outside the normal range, contrary to the expectations of anti-cultists, and there reilgious some evidence that individuals receive a therapeutic benefit from their involvement.
Converts to NRMs accommdoating not the weak, vulnerable, and suggestive souls first presupposed by the anti-cult movement. At the same time it cannot be claimed, as some leaders of anti-cult movement later proposed, that everyone is susceptible to being recruited, for the social profile of those who have joined is fairly specific. Research has shown, in descending order of pertinence, that converts tend to be young in their early twentiesbetter educated than the movement public quite notably in some groupsdisproportionately from bew middle and upper middle classes, relatively unattached socially, ideologically unaligned, and with a history of seekership — that is, with accommodatinf history of investigating different religious and spiritual options.
This fact alone may account for much of the stiff opposition to NRMs. Of course there are interesting exceptions to these generalizations. The age profile of some NRMs is changing as the membership ages, and movekents such as Scientology and Soka Gakki have always attracted a larger number of older, even middle aged, followers. Lastly, it is apparent nrmd that most persons join NRMs through pre-existing social networks and favourable social interactions with cult members. Converts help neq convert friends, family members, classmates, and neighbours. Converts repeatedly say that they were influenced first and foremost by the warmth, genuineness, and sense of purpose that they had detected in accommodatinb members they met.
Few conversions are the result of solitary encounters in public spaces. Ironically, then, NRMs acquire new members in much the same way as mainstream religions. NRMs nrns incidence of massive violence The other issue that World accommodating new religious movements nrms galvanized public concern about Nms is their potential for violence. There have been six tragic incidents of mass violence involving NRMs in the last accommodatkng decades, resulting in the deaths of almost 2, persons see Table 1. Most of World accommodating new religious movements nrms deaths were religiously inspired suicides, though murders of cult members and others opponents and law enforcement officers have also occurred.
But only in the case of the Japanese group Aum Shinrikyo and perhaps of the African group, The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments were the murders fully premeditated and religiously sanctioned. The details of each incident are complex, and accurate information is scarce. But again contrary to the fears raised by cult critics, most NRMs have shown no proclivity for violence. The rareness of violence makes it all the more important to understand what went so grievously wrong in the few instances of violence. Each tragedy is the result of a unique combination of factors.
In some cases external factors — for example, threatening actions undertaken by law enforcement agents — played a consequential role in instigation violence. In other cases internal factors such as the social background of members, played a prominent role. Still, there are four common internal factors for violence to erupt. Each of these factors 9 was present in the six incidents of mass violence, though none, on its own or in combination, is sufficient to account for the violence. The first factor is the presence of strong apocalyptic beliefs.
The second factor is strong commitment to a charismatic leader and a charismatic mode of authority. The third factor is the process of social encapsulation. The fourth factor is a strong sense of perceived persecution. The presence of these factors heightens the likelihood that the relations between the religious movement and the dominant society become hostile. Table 1. These proclivities can be aggravated by the strategies initiated by some cult leaders who are struggling with the precarious legitimacy of their characteristic modes of authority. In striving to maintain just the right level of exposure to their followers, to avoid the rise of alternative source of authority or other dissipation of their personal power within their movement, and to maintain an aura of ever more success, some ambitious charismatic leaders will instigate changes in policy designed to undermine rivals.
Leaders will prompt crises, real or imagined, to test the loyalty of the group. The actions can foster an equally deleterious homogenization of the membership. When all dissent disappears, a rigid social solidarity is achieved at the expense of coping with environmental challenges or resisting the dangerous demands of an unbalanced or simply demoralized leader. One of the strategies frequently invoked by charismatic cult leaders seeking to perpetuate their personal power is to increase the isolation of their followers, both physically and socially. This isolation serves to cut off negative feedback to the group from the larger society.
But social systems cannot operate effectively without a measure of criticism and difference of opinion, and an unintended consequence can be the implosion or encapsulation of the group. In isolation, the tendencies to rigidity and homogeneity are magnified and the normal restrains on the desires, ideals, or the delusions of the leaders are diminished. The measure of conformity achieved facilities acting on extreme suggestions without regard for the consequences. In each of the recent incidents of mass violence, all of these factors were aggravated by an ongoing struggle with real or merely perceived enemies. Religious denomination The denomination lies between the church and the sect on the continuum.
Denominations come into existence when churches lose their religious monopoly in a society. A denomination is one religion among many. When churches or sects become denominations, there are also some changes in their characteristics. Johnstone provides the following eight characteristics of denominations: Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. March Main article: Sect Sociologically, a "sect" is defined as a newly formed religious group that formed to protest elements of its parent religion generally a denomination. Their motivation tends to be situated in accusations of apostasy or heresy in the parent denomination; they often decry liberal trends in denominational development and advocate a return to so-called "true" religion.
Leaders of sectarian movements i. Most scholars believe that when sect formation involves social class distinctions, they reflect an attempt to compensate for deficiencies in lower social status. After their formation, sects can take only three paths - dissolution, institutionalization, or eventual development into a denomination. If the sect withers in membership, it will dissolve. If the membership increases, the sect is forced to adopt the characteristics of denominations in order to maintain order e. And even if the membership does not grow or grows slowly, norms will develop to govern group activities and behavior. The development of norms results in a decrease in spontaneity, which is often one of the primary attractions of sects.
The adoption of denomination-like characteristics can either turn the sect into a full-blown denomination or, if a conscious effort is made to maintain some of the spontaneity and protest components of sects, an institutionalized sect can result. Institutionalized sects are halfway between sects and denominations on the continuum of religious development. They have a mixture of sect-like and denomination-like characteristics. Examples include: HutteritesIglesia ni Cristoand the Amish. Most of the well-known denominations of the U. MethodistsBaptistsand Seventh-day Adventists. An example of an institutionalized sect that did not become a denomination are the Mennonites. Cult The concept of "cult" has lagged behind in the refinement of the terms that are used in analyzing the other forms of religious origination.
Bruce Campbell discusses Troeltsch's concept in defining cults as non-traditional religious groups that are based on belief in a divine element within the individual.
He gives three ideal types of cults: He also omvements six groups in the applications of analysis: In the late nineteenth century, there re,igious been a number of works that help in clarifying what is involved in cults. It is either Soul, Self, or True Hrms. Cults are inherently ephemeral and loosely organized. One is mystical and the other is instrumental. This can divide the cults into accommocating either occults or metaphysical assemblies. On the basis that Accommodatint proposes about cults, they are non-traditional religious groups based on belief in a divine element in the individual.
Other than the two main types, there is also a third type. This is service-oriented. Campbell states that "the kinds of stable forms which evolve in the development of religious organization will bear a significant relationship to the content of the religious experience of the founder or founders. But, unlike sects, they can form without breaking off from another religious group, though this is by no means always the case. The characteristic that most distinguishes cults from sects is that they are not advocating a return to pure religion but rather the embracing of something new or something that has been completely lost or forgotten e.
Cults are also much more likely to be led by charismatic leaders than are other religious groups and the charismatic leaders tend to be the individuals who bring forth the new or lost component that is the focal element of the cult. Cults tend to emphasize the individual and individual peace. Cults, like sects, can develop into denominations. As cults grow, they bureaucratize and develop many of the characteristics of denominations.